Exeter and Greater Exeter food and drink businesses have come together to sign up to an exciting new initiative which is set to place Exeter on the map as a major new foodie destination.
Food and drink producers, retailers and restaurateurs gathered at an exclusive event at Exeter Cookery School to find out more about the new Exeter Food and Drink Trail. Created by Visit Exeter, the trail aims to embrace businesses that celebrate local produce, both in the dishes that they create, and the artisan produce that they harvest, craft or sell.
The pre-launch event saw an abundance of food and drink businesses sign up, all keen to be a part of the trail. Leading the way were Quicke’s Farm Shop, Pebblebed Wines, Darts Farm, Hotel du Vin, Exeter Gin and the Exeter Cookery School.
Ambassadors Mary Quicke of Quicke’s Cheese, Karen Skerratt of Exeter Gin and Jim and Lucy Fisher of Exeter Cookery School addressed business figures at the pre-launch, revealing even more details of the exciting initiative.
At the centre of the Exeter Food and Drink Trail is a beautiful map created by illustrator Aylwyn Bowen. Once complete, the map will pinpoint the locations of local food and drink producers, foodie experiences and eateries. Foodies will be able to use the map as a resource to embark on a journey of discovery.
The Exeter Food and Drink Trail will include exclusive experiences such as brewery tours, cheese tasting, wine tasting, tours of the honey producing hives on the Princesshay rooftop and classes at the Exeter Cookery School. Exciting competitions and the opportunity to put together trail gift packages will connect local businesses with a national audience.
With plans to promote the trail at a number of local events and raise the profile of Visit Exeter’s social media pages, Visit Exeter hopes to increase footfall to the Exeter and Greater Exeter foodie scene.
Supported by recent consumer research, which shows that 98% of respondents like to support local food and drink producers, and 89% would be interested in an Exeter food and drink trail, Visit Exeter believes it has a compelling case for the new initiative.
Catherine Hill, Head of Service for Communications & Culture at Visit Exeter, commented: “We were delighted to welcome food and drink businesses from across Exeter to our pre-launch event, giving them an opportunity to find out more about the new Exeter Food and Drink Trail. It was great to see so many producers, retailers and restaurateurs signing up as we are now set to have a wonderful variety of businesses included on the map.”
Catherine continued: “Our research shows that there’s huge appetite for the trail, local food and drink producers, food events taking place on the trail, and for food and drink establishments that source and celebrate local produce. We aim to satisfy that appetite through the self-guided trail, which is being created to boost footfall, visitor numbers and overall spend with businesses that form part of the trail.”
Now, the official Exeter Food and Drink Trail map has gone into production and will go to print and online with the self-guided trail guide by August, in time for the consumer launch.
Trail ambassador Mitch Tonks, Chef and Founder of Rockfish, commented: “Devon is a serious food destination, there’s no doubt about that and to have a trail like this in one of the county’s biggest and most influential cities is so great. This trail will be able to showcase what we in Devon already know – Exeter’s absolute best, the hidden gems, the independent and artisan producers and growers, the fantastic group operations who provide quality and consistency and who generate great loyalty and fans in their customers. I’m very honoured to be involved in this and want to help spread the word further afield so we get people far and wide wanting a taste of the vibrant Exeter food scene.”
For more information on the Exeter Food and Drink Trail, visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinktrail.co.uk.